I found myself spending the end of last week in Anchorage.
The mountains were spectacular, the seafood was fresh, the days were chilly -- but not too cold (it was colder in Florida while I was up there, 20s F opposed to 30s) It was dark in the morning, but not so noticeably in the evening.
The locals were friendly. Everyone I talked to seemed to have been to, or knew people living in, Portland. And they all had recommendations of places I should go to eat back in PDX. Which I have duly noted.
With Portland being so mild, it was nice to be around snow for a few days. I savored the feeling of fluffy snow and melting slush under my boots.
I loved the Anchorage Museum. I spent the longest time ogling at the Smithsonian Exhibit filled with artifacts and contemporary craft objects from the Tlingit and other first peoples. The jade knives, woven boats, bone game pieces...
As a maker and painter of objects (bookbinding/still life), the tools, games, and crafts resonated with me.
Ravens and magpies added forest noises and silhouettes of wings against the sky different from Portland's smaller crows and scrub jays.
Portage Glacier. I was content watching the sun rise at 10:00 a.m. from Earthquake Park, taking in the views as I drove to the Alaska Zoo and then around downtown.